Metso’s new Valve Technology Center

The new facility is in line with the company’s long-term strategy to invest in quality and delivery capabilities globally for Metso’s valve customers

The new Valve Technology Center in Finland covers an area of 23,000 m2. The adjoining 12,300 m2 office building houses domestic sales, project management, research and development, global service development, training facilities as well as the management and administration of Metso’s Flow Control business unit. The location is logistically ideal. It is close to the Port of Helsinki, airport and main highways. Energy efficiency meets the standards set by BREEAM, which is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. Both buildings have been built according to the latest Finnish regulations.

In the new factory, material flow and production cells are planned according to lean manufacturing principles that provide a clear advantage over the previous factory, which was operating in several buildings. The main focus is on producing, assembling and testing critical, engineered parts for ultimate performance in the oil and gas industry. Metso secures valve operation and quality with uncompromised manufacturing processes and testing procedures. The factory has ISO 9001:2008, PED, ATEX as well as ISO 14001:2004 certificates

Metso’s new Valve Technology Center in the Helsinki region, Finland, was officially opened on 22nd September, 2011. The office building and purposebuilt factory are home base to 800 automation professionals. Production is working in two shifts on a record pace.

“Our current deliveries have increased by half compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. Production is more than 2,500 valves monthly, and volumes will be further increased order to meet the growing global demand” said Markku Simula, President of Flow Control business in Metso’s Automation business line.

Metso develops valve services globally

The fastest growing markets of the technology center specialized in manufacturing of engineered industrial valves are Middle East and China. “Especially companies in Middle East, Brazil and in China have recently invested at an accelerating pace to new production facilities,” explains Simula. The customers include major global companies, such as Saudi Aramco, ExxonMobile, Petrobras and Stora Enso.

Building a new facility in Finland is in line with Metso’s investment decisions of previous years to develop Metso’s valve services globally. In 2010, Metso opened a state-of-the-art facility in Shanghai, China, and is currently expanding its valve production premises in the US. Metso also has high-class industrial valve facilities in Brazil and Germany.

“Metso is the leading valve solutions and services provider. We have a strong, established market position in the oil & gas, pulp & paper, refining and chemical/petrochemical industries. Our new production and testing facilities allow us to further improve our services to our customers with faster deliveries as well as with a wider product and application scope,” Markku Simula commented.

Long-term strategy for developing operational capabilities

The investment decision for the Helsinki center was made in 2008 when the market situation looked uncertain. “Nevertheless, we went ahead with our plans in Finland and China. This is a strong message for our customers globally: We are in the business with a long-term strategy to continuously improve our products and services,” Markku Simula emphasised.

“The decisions have proved to be excellent. The newly started facility in Finland reaches record level production, and the Shanghai center has been operating for more than one year also at record level, as it is located in the midst of the world’s fastest growing valve market,” Simula continued.

New facility enhances research and development

“Our customers are facing increasing operating pressures and more advanced applications. We have a long tradition to supply valves for tough conditions, so we are ready to meet this demand,” Markku Simula added. The new Helsinki facility further improves Metso’s possibilities for product development. For example, there is a new flow laboratory for valve testing and a new expanded cryogenic testing facility for the LNG industry.

Metso is the leading supplier of control, on-off and emergency shutdown (ESD) valves and intelligent positioners and condition monitoring. “We just launched stainless steel versions of all our Smart products for safety and automated on/off use. Stainless steel products are aimed at the oil & gas market, which is very important for us. Clearly within these industries, there was room especially for safety products, because we have received very positive feedback from our customers so far,” Simula said proudly.

Due to Metso’s strong position in advanced valves technology, services are becoming a larger business for Metso. In addition to 31 service centers around the globe, a new service center will be opened in India within the next six months. As examples of the growth in services, the major Brazilian oil company Petrobras recently awarded Metso a service contract that covers the supply of spare parts and maintenance services for 11 refineries in Brazil.

Metso Automation
Tel: 0870 606 1478

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 19

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